The surfacing artist adds texture and color to 3D characters, environments and accessories in an animated project.
The surfacing artist adds texture and color to 3D characters, environments and accessories in an animated project to enhance their visual appeal based on the visual style defined by the artistic director, the production designer and the filmmaker.
After the modeling stage comes the surfacing (definition of materials, textures that will cover a 3D volume), which will be followed by lighting and final rendering.
Painting with complex equations
The surfacing artist is responsible for complex and challenging surfacing configurations.
He somehow “paints” with complex equations and specialized software (Body Paint, Maya, Renderman, Zbrush, Mudbox, Photoshop, etc.) and works closely with the modeling and lighting departments to ensure that surfacing needs are met in parallel with the needs of other departments.
Surfacing artists interact with their mouse and screen. They must produce consistent, high-quality work while maintaining a steady flow of assignments and meeting strict deadlines.
Being a surfacing artist requires creativity, open-mindedness, a good sense of design elements such as detail, scale, composition, colour and shape.
He creates different visual styles according to the requirements. A good knowledge of modeling and lighting / shading is an asset, since surfacing artists work in partnership with the production team and respect the setting up of the pipeline necessary for the smooth production of an animated film, which induces, de facto, good relationships.
Surfacing artists are in high demand. Most often, they work in animation studios. They may also have the opportunity to work with independent studios.
After a few years of experience, the surfacing artist may consider moving into positions of greater responsibility such as supervisor or other management positions within the FX department.